The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is investigating the death of a 27-year-old African American man found handcuffed and unconscious in the custody of “special police officers” at the Marbury Plaza apartment complex at the 2300 block of Good Hope Road SE. Witnesses report hearing 27-year-old Alonzo Smith running down the halls of the apartment complex yelling for help before he was eventually detained by security guards.
MPD transported Smith to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. While the MPD’s investigation into Smith’s passing is ongoing, relatives say autopsy photos show the young man suffered severe trauma to his face and may have been beaten prior to police arriving on the scene. MPD initially classified Smith’s death as “justifiable homicide” but was eventually changed, citing errors on the part of the officer who created the report.
The special police officers at Marbury Plaza were private security guards working for the apartment complex. Special police officers are not members of MPD but are certified by the department to carry firearms and have arrest powers. The special police officers at Marbury Plaza were employed by Maryland-based security company Blackout Investigations.
Smith was a teacher at an alternative school in Springfield, Virginia where he taught special needs students. The young man studied social work at Morgan State University and was a poet and portrait model. He leaves behind a six-year-old child.
The Cochran Firm, D.C. previously successfully sued Marbury Plaza in a high-profile gas explosion case resulting from inadequate security and is very familiar with the owners and operators of Marbury Plaza and the subcontractors that work there.
Although The Cochran Firm, D.C. is not representing any of the parties involved in Smith’s untimely passing, our seasoned attorneys regularly represent victims of police brutality and dedicate their work to fighting injustice. Our firm’s founder Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.’s vision was for his law firm to give a voice to the ordinary citizens, harmed by powerful entities such as law enforcement and big corporations.
If you or a loved one were the victims of police brutality, either by police or security guards, contact one of The Cochran Firm, D.C.’s experienced attorneys for your free legal consultation.